Set Yourself Up to Win

Right now, when I look in my pantry, the first things I see are a box of cookies and a few types of candy. In the freezer, there are about five types of ice cream. In the refrigerator, I have leftover pizza from last weekend staring me in the face.

For a girl that claims to want to lose the baby weight, this is not a good plan.

We all have things we want to do, right? We have truckloads of good intentions. But following through is tough and more often than not, the reason we don’t follow through isn’t that we don’t desire it enough. It’s not even that we have a lack of discipline.

The real root of the problem is that we don’t set ourselves up to win.

Who does have the discipline to eat healthy with all of those tempting options staring you in the face every time you look for a bite to eat? We get sidetracked quickly—but we don’t have to.

There are so many tiny things we can do that take almost no effort and would increase the likelihood that we would follow through on our well-intentioned plans.

For example, last night, I thought to myself, “I want to work out in the morning.” I have to go and be back before Matt and Carter wake up, so it’s going to be early. But let’s face it, this baby weight isn’t going to lose itself! I started to crawl in bed with the only hope of actually waking up being my alarm set for 4:15 a.m., which I would likely hit snooze 100 times and eventually ignore altogether.

But last night, I decided to do just one more step. I put all of my workout clothes together in a stack in the bathroom. If I was going to sleep in and not work out, I wanted to make it harder on myself to do so. I wanted to make it harder on myself to back out and easier on myself to follow through.

And you know what? It worked. I went to my exercise class from 5–6 a.m. and was back home to feed the baby by 6:20 a.m.

While it’s not a fix-all solution for the many reasons that life gets in the way of us accomplishing our goals, it can make a huge difference.

So if you want to lose weight, move the healthy options to the front of the pantry and refrigerator so that they are the first ones you see. If you want to work out, set out your clothes the night before. If you want to build your side business, clean out a space in your home to focus. If you want to clean your house, schedule time on your calendar to make it happen. If you want to do anything, do everything you can ahead of time to set yourself up to win.

We all know that accomplishing goals takes work. But if we can set ourselves up to win ahead of time, we are much more likely to follow through. And then, all you have to do is take that first step. Before you know it, intentions become actions and your actions become habit.

And that is how life change happens. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go rearrange my pantry.